Alberta Birds of Prey Centre | Coaldale, Alberta
Best Times of the Day for Viewing
Early Morning & late afternoon. Flying and feeding demonstrations are conducted throughout the day.
The Centre is located on the edge of the town of Coaldale, 8 kilometres east of Lethbridge, on Highway 3.
2 hours south of Calgary 10 minutes east of Lethbridge on Highway #3. 90 minutes northeast of Waterton Lakes & Glacier National Parks
Overview of this Wildlife Watching Landscape
The Alberta Birds of Prey Centre is Canada’s largest rehabilitation and interpretive facility for birds of prey.
The site includes a gentle walking tour along pathways through open forest and wetlands. Along the pathways you will see a number of birds of prey sitting on their perches. The staff provides exercise and training to the birds as part of their rehabilitation. Visitors can view daily flying programs and learn more about the habitat and the lives of these birds and how they fit into our ecosystem. A number of the birds have become permanent residents and participate in a variety of educational displays and presentations to schools throughout the year.
The Centre is situated on what was once a flood-prone farm field. The site is now comprised of a 70-acre wetland area and contains a number of facilities used to help in the rehabilitation of injured birds of prey that have been brought to the centre. The staff also conducts demonstrations featuring the hawks, falcons, eagles and owls of Alberta.
At the heart of the site is a 2,000-sq-foot visitors’ centre. This building houses an interpretive centre, gift shop and visitor information centre. This also serves as the main entrance to the site; the visitors’ centre and gift shop is open to everyone free of charge.
Construction of this unique facility was begun in 1988. It is unique in many respects, including its ability to operate for many years without government funding subsidies, even as visitor programs and rehabilitation efforts have expanded. In 2006, the Centre entered into a funding partnership with FortisAlberta, an electric generation company that has enlisted the Centre's assistance in designing transmission towers and lines to minimize impact on birds of prey.. The funding will enable the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre to expand its education outreach programs for communities and organizations in Alberta.
The Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation was established in 1982. The foundation helps support the activities of the Centre. Their mission states: “Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation is Alberta’s first privately licensed raptor rescue and conservation organization. As a non-political organization, we are not environmental critics or watchdogs. Our strategy is to roll-up our sleeves and initiate practical hands-on solutions which directly benefit wildlife and our environment.”
The Centre's environmental mission is to conserve nature by: Rehabilitating and releasing injured birds of prey back to the wild. Captive breeding and release of endangered species. Studying and monitoring wild birds of prey populations. Encouraging increased public environmental awareness.
Type of Wildlife Often Seen
The Centre features hawks, falcons, eagles and owls of Alberta, as well as a variety of waterfowl and wetland birds.
Best Seasons and Months for Viewing
Open daily from May (second weekend) to the weekend following Labour Day in September